And so we continue cutting together the patchwork of the year’s best film, today’s chapter culled together from the richest moments I’ve seen on screen in 2009 (there will be more, of course):
Every part of ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ when the narrating voices contradict each other.
When Andreotti in ‘Il Divo’ returns to his home village to hand out gifts like a satanic Santa, arms moving from the elbows, eyes unblinking; the lines between generosity and bribery so subtly blurred in a film that seems to turn one man’s life into a comprehensive social history of post-war Italy.
Pretty much anything in ‘Tetro’ – the most physically beautiful film of 2009; the scene at the hospital community, any time Klaus Maria Brandauer appears; and especially the delirious section when a critic called ‘Alone’ pronounces her judgement on the world.
The converstion between Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann in ‘Funny People’ in which they re-affirm their love for each other; he’s never been more believable.
The woman who stumbles into shot when Krystof Zanussi is being interviewed in ‘Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky’; like a refugee from a Fellini set. Dmitry Trakovsky’s genius is to keep filming – he knows that’s what Tarkovsky would do too. Here’s a picture of Dmitry – a good friend of The Film Talk and an excellent director.
The choreographed dance in (500) Days of Summer; wherein a man dances to celebrate something that he thinks is miraculous, without realizing his partner rates it much lower.
And…Solo searching for William’s other taxi in the Winston-Salem night; Bahrani utterly avoids the cliché of a chase scene; to the point where the ‘coincidence’ of finding the other car appears nothing less than exactly what would happen in real life… The breakfast provided for the prison officer in ‘Hunger’, capturing the harsh and broken reality of northern Irish life through the 70s and 80s, and making a character who otherwise might be automatised into a recognizably human figure… Joaquin Phoenix and Elias Koteas saying everything and nothing while Gwyneth Paltrow leaves the table in the restaurant scene in ‘Two Lovers’. Only one of them belongs there… The party in ‘Humpday’ – there’s something about it that makes me want to go there; there’s something about it that makes me want to stay in bed… Eddie Adams walking to his office as the linking sections of ‘An Unlikely Weapon’ – an artist damaged by what he saw, trying to make sense of it and give something back…